Monday, February 25, 2013

Cave Lady Proud - A Post About Paleo

We have been on the Paleolithic diet for over a year now. Well, David has. I went gluten and dairy free first and then took the leap. Neither of us has looked back. We love the way our bodies feel, we love how lean we look and we love that we are forever freed from our roller coasters of addiction to sugar and processed foods. We also love that this lifestyle has challenged us to stay creative with Ayden's snacking since many toddlers often eat their weight in processed puffs, cereal and goldfish crackers daily.

The number one question we get, after we are finished explaining what the diet is and why in the world we have chosen to do it, is, "where do you find all of your recipes?" The quick answer is, "Google" but for some reason that does not satisfy folks interested in trying out our way of eating. I thought I'd share some of our favorite resources, as well as a few tips that will help you turn every meal into one any cave lady would be proud of.

My breakfast this morning!
Paleo WAFFLES?!? with coconut butter and pure maple syrup.
The site that helped us a lot in the early days was Paleo Plan.  This is a great resource for newbies because it provides specific meal plans, if that is something you need at first, and also has articles and a blog dedicated to frequently asked questions (why beans aren't allowed, for example) and the research behind the movement. We still have many favorite recipes from this site that we make often:
Obviously Pinterest is an amazing resource for anything ever.  I simply type "Paleo" into the search box and come up with all kinds of great recipes.  Here is a link to my Paleo board.

While googling, there are so many blogs and websites dedicated to the diet that it is hard not to find good things to make.  Here are some more great resources, as well as links to our favorite recipe from each one:
A few tips I have for making any standard meal Paleo friendly are:
  • Substitute your typical grains with a veggie equivalent.  Spaghetti squash for spaghetti, or cauliflower for rice for instance. 
  • Use honey or maple syrup for sugar. Sweetness is sweetness, especially if you pair it with cocoa (and a few other ingredients) and make chocolatey deliciousness!
  • Explore different kinds of Paleo friendly "flours."  Our favorites are coconut flour and almond meal. 
  • If all else fails, keep it simple (this is what we do when dining out). 

As you might see, there are plenty of dinner options out there.  We make enough every night for all three of us to have leftovers for lunch the next day.  I think the two big problems that people run into after being on the Paleo diet for a few weeks is that they seem to become bored of their breakfast, snack and dessert options. Just yesterday, while perusing Pinterest to spice up next week's meal plan, I discovered two blog posts that gave me a ton of new ideas and should keep us satisfied in these categories for a while:

This is where those waffles from above came from.
We also recently purchased our dehydrator which has broadened our snack horizon.  We use it for our weekly batch of kale chips now.  I am excited to make some banana chips, apple chips and my own fruit leather!

Fresh sweet potato chips. YUM!
If you are interested in giving the Paleo diet a try, but aren't sure where to start, here is a handy photo that I found on Pinterest that lays it out for you:

Sorry the text is tiny.  Click the link below if you can't read it here.
My best advice is to PLAN.  Take some time the day before you go to the grocery and make a meal plan and grocery list.  After that it is smooth sailing.  The first few weeks might take some time and effort but once you get a collection of favorites going, it becomes a smooth and quick process.  I would tell this to anyone who wants to succeed with any dietary changes, Paleo or not.  If you don't have healthy options at the ready, you aren't going to end up eating very well.  Simple as that.

And now, I shall leave you with a scene of serenity.

Sure is different from watching the sunset from our old backyard!

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